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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

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Frequently asked questions

If you're interested in gaining a qualification via online learning, but have some outstanding questions, here are some answers to the most common questions we're asked. If you want to talk to someone about which qualification is right for you, call us on 024 7685 1789.

What is online learning?
Online learning is a method of gaining a qualification without attending a college or university. You are assigned a tutor, who guides you through the modules and assessments, with course materials available online. You will have 24/7 access to our secure online learning platform, where you can read course materials, contact other students and your tutor, and complete and submit assignments. It is a flexible way of learning, as it means you can study at a time and place that suits you.

Do I have to attend any face-to-face days?
No all learning and induction is on line.

How much time will I need to study through online learning?
We advise 6 - 10 hours per week of study.

What support do I need to have in place, if any?
You have the support of an academic tutor and an administrator from the online learning team - you do not need any other specific support in place at home or work.

Do I have to be working in housing?
If you are not working in housing, we recommend that you have a placement in a housing organisation before commencing the course, which can be a voluntary placement, as your studies will require you to refer to real-life examples from the housing industry. For the Level 7 course you need to be working in housing.

How do I know which course is right for me?
Take a look at our course finder which can offer you some guidance, or give our online learning team a call on 024 7685 1789.

What qualifications do I need to have?
That depends on which course you want to study. Each course has different eligibility criteria - you can read details of eligibility in the downloadable course packs on our online courses page.

I am interested in studying with you but I am not sure which course I would be eligible for?
If you've looked at the course packs but still aren't sure whether you're eligible, give our learning team a call on 024 7685 1789 and they'll be happy to talk you through your options.

Can I get funding to study your courses?
If course fees present you with an obstacle, there are a number of different sources of financial support available. Find out more

I want to become a housing officer - which course would be the best one for me to study?
It depends on your current qualifications and experience in housing as to which course would be the best one for you. You can find out more by looking at the course packs on our online courses page. If you need any advice please contact or call us on 024 7685 1789.

I did not want to study for a Certificate I wanted to study for the Diploma – why are you not running it any longer? We wanted to reduce the length of time students are studying. The Level 3 Certificate will take nine months instead of 12 months, and the Level 4 Certificate will take one year instead of two years to study the Diploma. The Level 4 Certificate covers three modules from the certificate year and three from the diploma year - so you will gain the same level of qualification but save both time and money compared to the Diploma routes.

When can I start?
This depends on which course you choose but most of our courses start every 8 weeks. If you want to study the Level 7 you can start in Autumn.


Choose a qualification

Find the right housing qualification for you. We offer a wide range of courses from Level 3 to MSc.

Qualifications explained

What is the difference between an award, a certificate and a diploma?

The terms 'award', 'certificate' and 'diploma' give you an idea of how long it will take you to complete the qualification. Each type of qualification requires a certain number of credits - and one credit usually takes 10 hours of learning to achieve. 

  • Award - requires 1-12 credits. CIH awards usually take approximately six months to complete.
  • Certificate - requires 13 - 36 credits. Usually takes around nine months to complete.
  • Diploma - requires at least 37 credits. Takes at least 12 months to complete.

What do the different levels refer to?

Each qualification is given a level according to its difficulty, from entry level to level 8. So the higher the level, the more advanced a qualification is.